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David Onyemata suspended after testing positive for banned substance

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Mike Florio analyzes the New Orleans Saints' options at quarterback heading into the 2021 season and why Taysom Hill's versatility could work against him.

It looks like the Saints won’t have one of their key defenders to start the 2021 season.

Defensive tackle David Onyemata posted to Instagram early Friday morning that he tested positive for a banned substance and will be suspended.

“I was informed by the NFLPA yesterday that I have tested positive for a banned substance resulting in a suspension for part of the 2021 NFL season,” Onyemata wrote, via Katherine Terrell of TheAthletic.com. “While I was certainly surprised and disappointed with this news, I am responsible for what I put in my body. As I have never knowingly taken anything that could cause a positive test, we are currently in the process of testing the supplements I was taking at the time of the test. Regardless, I am committed to being more aware of any medication and dietary supplements that may contain substances banned by the NFL.”

Onyemata was a sixth-round pick for the Saints in 2016 and emerged as a full-time starter over the last two seasons. He recorded a career-high 6.5 sacks with 10 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits in 2020. He also had an interception and a part of passes defensed.

In five seasons, Onyemata has appeared in 78 games with 40 starts. He has 16.0 career sacks, 21 tackles for loss, and 42 quarterback hits.

New Orleans’ defense may have two of its starters suspended to begin the year. Back in March, cornerback Marshon Lattimore was arrested and charged with a fourth-degree felony of receiving a stolen handgun. While nothing has been announced as of yet, Lattimore could face league discipline over the incident.